March 3, 2015

State Roundup, March 3, 2015

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MIKULSKI TO RETIRE: Jenna Johnson and John Wagner of the Post report that U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, who has served in Congress longer than any woman in history, announced Monday that she will retire after five terms in office, shocking Democrats in her state and setting off an immediate scramble to replace her.

MIKULSKI’S LEGACY: When Sen. Barbara Mikulski took the Senate oath in 1987 she was immediately all by herself in the history books, becoming the first Democratic woman elected to a Senate seat in her own right. (Typically, women had come to hold elected office when their husband’s died.) Nia-Malika Henderson of the Post reports on Mikulski’s legacy for women politicians in the Senate and elsewhere.

SCRAMBLE FOR HER SEAT: John Fritze of the Sun reports that U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s startling announcement Monday that she will not seek re-election in 2016 after more than four decades in elected office set off a political free-for-all as Maryland’s most powerful politicians began to position themselves for the opportunity to run for a rare open seat.

VOTE ON NOMINEES: Four of Gov. Larry Hogan’s nominees to head Cabinet positions, including the state Department of Transportation, head to the full Senate later this week for an expected confirmation vote, Bryan Sears writes in the Daily Record.

NEW LEGISLATORS FIND BIPARTISANSHIP: The largest freshmen class in 20 years came in swinging at the State House this session, taking over the General Assembly with a “new wave” of bipartisanship, writes Rebecca Lessner for MarylandReporter.com. “It’s just an exciting time to bring fresh, new ideas. I think the body as a whole has been pretty receptive to them,” said Del. Marice Morales, D-Montgomery. The 57 new delegates and 11 new senators aren’t being shy with their bills. While some thought they would hold off and test the waters, they soon found themselves diving in.

CENTRAL COMMITTEE RULES: Steve Lash of the Daily Record writes that Maryland’s top court held Monday that a party central committee may submit multiple names to the governor to fill a General Assembly vacancy. The Court of Appeals’ one-page order permits the Republican Central Committee of Carroll County to submit more than one name, if it so chooses, to Gov. Larry Hogan to fill a vacancy in the House of Delegates.

PROTECTIVE ORDER AGAINST DELEGATE: A temporary protective order against a state delegate from Baltimore County remains in effect for another week after he failed to appear in court, reports Bryan Sears for the Daily Record. Del. Hasan “Jay” Jalisi, a Democrat, did not appear in District Court for a scheduled hearing yesterday morning.

OD ANTIDOTE EXPENSE: U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings and another U.S. lawmaker sent a letter to the drug company that produces an antidote to heroin overdose that has been jumping in price as more police and health departments use it, reports Meredith Cohn in the Sun. The letter went to Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, the only maker of naloxone, requesting information on gross revenues from the drug, price paid for the drug and factors that led to the price increases.